OXFORD United have offered two contract extensions to highly-rated teenagers as boss Pep Clotet looks to the future.

Shandon Baptiste and Malachi Napa, who signed their first professional contracts earlier this year, have been rewarded for their progress.

Midfielder Baptiste, who was only given a six-month deal to prove himself after a shoulder injury, made his senior international debut for Grenada this week.

Napa has impressed as a winger on loan at Vanarama National League South side Hampton & Richmond Borough.

Clotet, United’s manager, said: “They are very happy here and we told Shandon when he comes back (from Grenada) we’ll sit down again.

“To be honest, with Shandon I told him in August that I wanted him to stay and we would be discussing a new contract.”

It comes a week after Josh Ruffels became the first senior player whose deal expires next summer to commit his future to United.

With other first-team regulars, including skipper Curtis Nelson, Rob Hall and Joe Rothwell, also in the final year of their contracts, Clotet is hopeful of further agreements soon.

For the U’s boss, establishing a core of young players who can develop together is key to the aim of taking the club to the next level.

And for him, it is preferable to invest in those who are already performing for the U’s than repeating the wholesale personnel changes seen this summer.

Clotet said: “What I said in the last (recruitment) meeting is to make sure we don’t get into a position like the one I found when I came here, with players in the last year of their contracts and there’s a feeling of needing to start over again.

“We need to be able to put the important stones first.

“That’s why I’m very happy Josh Ruffels signed a contract.

“It’s important we manage to make new contracts with the players we think are going to be important going forward.

“I would like the fans to remember in a few years that we managed to build a team here which managed to play together, like Bournemouth or Swansea – there was a group of players who built something and they are really loved.

“You have to weigh up a lot when it comes to whether you bring in a player from outside, or keeping a player you already have.

“Sometimes it’s better to put a better contract to keep a player longer, because they know the way you want to play and there’s always uncertainty when you bring in someone new.

“Everyone wants to win today, but when we think about developing a club strategically it’s important to understand that these are the right decisions to take.

“If you have to make more effort I think it’s fair to make it with someone who has already proved something, rather than give it to someone outside.

“It creates loyalty as well.”